Tears — The Battle Cry for a Dying Nation

By Shane Idleman Published on July 18, 2023

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,” (2 Timothy 3:1–2 ESV).

Whether it is the tear-stained plea of the wife begging her husband to relinquish his addiction, the profound sadness mirrored in the faces of the elderly as they contemplate America’s moral degradation, or the overwhelming despair in our youth who confront a bleak future, it’s hard to shake the sadness we feel over the sick spiritual condition of America. Many of us now are shaking our heads in disgust, wondering if things can truly change.

I Was Taught Not to Cry

My dad came from the farms of Oklahoma, where crying was seen as a sign of weakness. We were told that we must get angry to prevail in sports and that working hard makes us tough. Americans are bred to be tough. Christians must fight for the truth — we need more who will do that! But we must season our words with grace, our actions with compassion. I believe the church has lost that heart of compassion.

The Apostle John said, “So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll” (Rev. 5:4). Obviously, it’s in a different context, but we, too must learn to weep. We too feel anguish as we ask: “Is there any hope?”

Great Men Weep

We lack of humility, we are short on compassion, and it has cost us dearly. It reveals a lack of the Spirit’s operation in our lives. From Jeremiah to Jesus, great men weep.

Where is the weeping today? Where is the mourning for our nation’s spiritual condition? “Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O Lord’” (Joel 2:17). The heart-cry of the intercessor is heard in the courts of heaven.

Excuses Must Die

Who is interceding in prayer for the unborn, or those trapped in the vileness of sex trafficking? Who is pleading for the children being manipulated and misled by the lies of gender identity theory? Yes, there are a few, but would be to God that more would rise up!

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Could it be that your apathy is a manifestation of self-centeredness? Is it from arrogance? Are you not saved? Or you have so grieved the Spirit that the flame of compassion has nearly burned out? Either way, you are spiritually blind and spiritually bankrupt. Excuses must die! You must own your hardness and repent. If you lack the love of Christ, you will quench His Spirit — period!

Weeping Opens the Door to Your Calling

I have yet to meet an arrogant, uncompassionate, unloving Spirit-filled believer. They don’t exist. Yes, we all struggle with being hard, aloof, and uncompassionate from time to time, but to live there continuously reveals a serious spiritual problem in your heart.

Weeping opens the door to your calling. Tears can point you in God’s direction. Mourning often leads to a movement. God lets things sink in so we will stand up.

Just ask Tim Ballard and Jim Caviezel. Their movie Sound of Freedom is launching a movement, awakening many, and exposing the darkness. Sadly, many on the Left are trying to protect the guilty while marginalizing the innocent. But this is no surprise — it’s a spiritual battle and they’re on the wrong team.

To be clear: To wage this war against the enemy we face today, you must be broken, contrite, and humble. Your heart-cry is your battle cry! From the sinner being converted to a saint being filled — it begins with brokenness.

“I’m Just Not Emotional”

Too often I hear the excuse, “I’m just not emotional.” That’s all it is, though … an excuse. Get rid of it! You express anger really well. Is anger not an emotion? Sexual desire excites you. Is that not an emotion? The problem is likely pride. The solution is repentance.

A lack of weeping, intercession, and travail severely hinders revival. We can’t work revival up but God can bring it down in response to the cries of His children. We wait for God, but could it be that He is waiting for us?

In Chaos, He is Still King

Now is the time for repentance. Now is the time to experience forgiveness. Don’t let past failures make you think you’ve caused irreparable damage. Don’t lose heart. You will be amazed at what God will do with humility, brokenness, and repentance.

Even in this chaos, God is still the King. He can reposition your heart back into alignment with His: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). So take this opportunity now to turn to him, completely, unconditionally, and without delay. And learn again to weep, to intercede, to pray.


Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the creator of the WCF Radio Network. His program, Regaining Lost Ground, points us back to God and reminds us that although times change, truth does not. His books, blogs, and sermons can all be found at ShaneIdleman.com.

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